According to spokesmen for the Environmental Defense Fund, (EDF) sulfur emissions from the recently
opened smelter in Nacozari, Mexico, across the border from AZ, will boost the acids in western rainfall back
to a level known to damage the environment. Sulfur dioxide emissions in the West, mostly from copper
smelters in AZ and other southwestern states, peaked in 1981 and then fell drastically with the lagging
copper market. The level of acidity in rain hundreds of miles downwind in the Rocky Mountains also fell.
The Mexican government has agreed to place costly pollution controls on the Nacozari plant by 1988 and
the US has imposed controls on American smelters. The spokesmen said when all the planned controls are
in place, sulfur dioxide emissions in the Southwest will decline markedly.
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: az; smelting; sulfur; sulfur dioxide; air pollution; acid rain; edf; criteria; edf; studies;